Category Archives: mathematics

Is the answer to the democratization of Science doing more Citizen Science?

I have been following, with keen interest, the post and comment thread pertaining to “Democratising science” at the blog I monitor daily, … and Then There’s Physics. I think the core subject being discussed is a little different from my … Continue reading

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Meteorological Association, American Statistical Association, AMETSOC, astronomy, astrophysics, biology, citizen data, citizen science, citizenship, data science, ecology, education, environment, evidence, life purpose, local self reliance, marine biology, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, moral leadership, new forms of scientific peer review, open source scientific software, science, science education, statistics, the green century, the right to know | Leave a comment

Chesterton’s fence, ecological sensitivity, and the disruption of ecological services

Hat tip to Matt Levine for introducing me to the term Chesteron’s fence: Chesterton’s fence is the principle that reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood. … In the matter of … Continue reading

Posted in dynamic generalized linear models, dynamical systems, ecological services, ecology, Ecology Action, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, XKCD | Leave a comment

Happy Newtonmas!

When knowledge conquered fear … And, what better way to celebrate than watching the National Geographic Cosmos episode, When knowledge conquered fear, hosted by the great Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City.

Posted in abstraction, astronomy, astrophysics, atheism, Bill Maher, Bill Nye, Boston Ethical Society, Buckminster Fuller, Carl Sagan, Cosmos, geophysics, Isaac Newton, mathematics, Neill deGrasse Tyson, physics, science, science education, the show | Leave a comment

Cathy O’Neil’s WEAPONS OF MATH DESTRUCTION: A Review

(Revised and updated Monday, 24th October 2016.) Weapons of Math Destruction, Cathy O’Neil, published by Crown Random House, 2016. This is a thoughtful and very approachable introduction and review to the societal and personal consequences of data mining, data science, … Continue reading

Posted in citizen data, citizen science, citizenship, civilization, compassion, complex systems, criminal justice, Daniel Kahneman, data science, deep recurrent neural networks, destructive economic development, economics, education, engineering, ethics, Google, ignorance, Joseph Schumpeter, life purpose, machine learning, Mathbabe, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, model comparison, model-free forecasting, numerical analysis, numerical software, open data, optimization, organizational failures, planning, politics, prediction, prediction markets, privacy, rationality, reason, reasonableness, risk, silly tech devices, smart data, sociology, Techno Utopias, testing, the value of financial assets, transparency | Leave a comment

Polls, Political Forecasting, and the Plight of Five Thirty Eight

On 17th October 2016 AT 7:30 p.m., Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com wrote about how, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers got better, it was more difficult for FiveThirtyEight‘s models to justify increasing her probability of winning, although … Continue reading

Posted in abstraction, American Statistical Association, anemic data, citizen science, citizenship, civilization, economics, education, forecasting, information theoretic statistics, mathematics, maths, politics, prediction markets, sociology, the right to know, theoretical physics, thermodynamics | Leave a comment

“All models are wrong. Some models are useful.” — George Box

(Image courtesy of the Damien Garcia.) As a statistician and quant, I’ve thought hard about that oft-cited Boxism. I’m not sure I agree. It’s not that there is such a thing as a perfect model, or correct model, whatever in … Continue reading

Posted in abstraction, American Association for the Advancement of Science, astronomy, astrophysics, mathematics, model-free forecasting, numerics, perceptions, physical materialism, physics, rationality, reason, reasonableness, science, spatial statistics, splines, statistics, the right to know, theoretical physics, time series | Leave a comment

Repaired R code for Markov spatial simulation of hurricane tracks from historical trajectories

I’m currently studying random walk and diffusion processes and their connections with random fields. I’m interested in this because at the core of dynamic linear models, Kalman filters, and state-space methods there is a random walk in a parameter space. … Continue reading

Posted in American Meteorological Association, American Statistical Association, AMETSOC, Arthur Charpentier, atmosphere, diffusion, diffusion processes, dynamic linear models, dynamical systems, environment, geophysics, hurricanes, Kalman filter, Kerry Emanuel, Lévy flights, Lorenz, Markov chain random fields, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, MCMC, mesh models, meteorological models, meteorology, model-free forecasting, Monte Carlo Statistical Methods, numerical analysis, numerical software, oceanography, open data, open source scientific software, physics, random walk processes, random walks, science, spatial statistics, state-space models, statistical dependence, statistics, stochastic algorithms, stochastics, time series | Leave a comment

“Holy crap – an actual book!”

Originally posted on mathbabe:
Yo, everyone! The final version of my book now exists, and I have exactly one copy! Here’s my editor, Amanda Cook, holding it yesterday when we met for beers: Here’s my son holding it: He’s offered…

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, Buckminster Fuller, business, citizen science, citizenship, civilization, complex systems, confirmation bias, data science, data streams, deep recurrent neural networks, denial, economics, education, engineering, ethics, evidence, Internet, investing, life purpose, machine learning, mathematical publishing, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, moral leadership, multivariate statistics, numerical software, numerics, obfuscating data, organizational failures, politics, population biology, prediction, prediction markets, privacy, quantitative biology, quantitative ecology, rationality, reason, reasonableness, rhetoric, risk, Schnabel census, smart data, sociology, statistical dependence, statistics, the right to be and act stupid, the right to know, the value of financial assets, transparency, UU Humanists | Leave a comment

“Stochastic Parameterization: Towards a new view of weather and climate models”

Judith Berner, Ulrich Achatz, Lauriane Batté, Lisa Bengtsson, Alvaro De La Cámara, Hannah M. Christensen, Matteo Colangeli, Danielle R. B. Coleman, Daan Crommelin, Stamen I. Dolaptchiev, Christian L.E. Franzke, Petra Friederichs, Peter Imkeller, Heikki Järvinen, Stephan Juricke, Vassili Kitsios, François … Continue reading

Posted in biology, climate models, complex systems, convergent cross-mapping, data science, dynamical systems, ecology, Ethan Deyle, Floris Takens, George Sughihara, Hao Ye, likelihood-free, Lorenz, mathematics, meteorological models, model-free forecasting, physics, population biology, population dynamics, quantitative biology, quantitative ecology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, state-space models, statistical dependence, statistics, stochastic algorithms, stochastic search, stochastics, Takens embedding theorem, time series, Victor Brovkin | 4 Comments

France, and Mathematics

Cédric Villani, does Mathematics. “Problems worthy of attack, prove their worth by hitting back.” — Piet Hein

Posted in abstraction, Google, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, networks, Pagerank, percolation theory, point pattern analysis, probability, rationality, reasonableness, stochastic algorithms | Leave a comment

On Smart Data

One of the things I find surprising, if not astonishing, is that in the rush to embrace Big Data, a lot of learning and statistical technique has been left apparently discarded along the way. I’m hardly the first to point … Continue reading

Posted in Akaike Information Criterion, Bayes, Bayesian, Bayesian inversion, big data, bigmemory package for R, changepoint detection, data science, data streams, dlm package, dynamic generalized linear models, dynamic linear models, dynamical systems, Generalize Additive Models, generalized linear models, information theoretic statistics, Kalman filter, linear algebra, logistic regression, machine learning, Markov Chain Monte Carlo, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, maximum likelihood, MCMC, Monte Carlo Statistical Methods, multivariate statistics, numerical analysis, numerical software, numerics, quantitative biology, quantitative ecology, rationality, reasonableness, sampling, smart data, state-space models, statistical dependence, statistics, the right to know, time series | Leave a comment

“Catching long tail distribution” (Ted Dunning)

One of the best presentations on what can happen if someone takes a naive approach to network data. It also highlights what is, to my mind, the greatly underappreciated t-distribution, which is typically only used in connection with frequentist Student … Continue reading

Posted in Cauchy distribution, complex systems, data science, Lévy flights, leptokurtic, mathematics, maths, networks, physics, population biology, population dynamics, regime shifts, sampling, statistics, Student t distribution, time series | Leave a comment

On Munshi mush

(Slightly updated on 2016-06-11.) Professor Emeritus Jamal Munshi of Sonoma State University has papers recently cited in science denier circles as evidence that the conventional associations between mean global surface temperature and cumulative carbon emissions are, well, bunk, due to … Continue reading

Posted in Bayes, Bayesian, Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, BEST, carbon dioxide, cat1, climate, climate change, climate data, climate education, climate models, convergent cross-mapping, dynamic linear models, ecology, ENSO, environment, Ethan Deyle, evidence, geophysics, George Sughihara, global warming, greenhouse gases, information theoretic statistics, Kalman filter, mathematics, maths, meteorology, model comparison, NOAA, oceanography, prediction, state-space models, statistics, Takens embedding theorem, Techno Utopias, the right to know, theoretical physics, time series, zero carbon | 1 Comment

Climate Denial Fails Pepsi Challenge

Originally posted on Climate Denial Crock of the Week:
Stephen Lewandowsky specializes in conducting research that pulls back the curtain climate denial psychology. He’s done it again. Washington Post: Researchers have designed an inventive test suggesting that the arguments commonly used…

Posted in American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Statistical Association, card draws, card games, chance, climate, climate change, climate data, climate education, confirmation bias, data science, denial, disingenuity, education, false advertising, fear uncertainty and doubt, fossil fuels, games of chance, geophysics, global warming, ignorance, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, obfuscating data, rationality, reasonableness, risk, science, science education, sociology, the right to know | Leave a comment

Cory Lesmeister’s treatment of Simson’s Paradox (at “Fear and Loathing in Data Science”)

(Updated 2016-05-08, to provide reference for plateaus of ML functions in vicinity of MLE.) Simpson’s Paradox is one of those phenomena of data which really give Statistics a substance and a role, beyond the roles it inherits from, say, theoretical … Continue reading

Posted in Akaike Information Criterion, approximate Bayesian computation, Bayes, Bayesian, evidence, Frequentist, games of chance, information theoretic statistics, Kalman filter, likelihood-free, mathematics, maths, maximum likelihood, Monte Carlo Statistical Methods, probabilistic programming, rationality, Rauch-Tung-Striebel, Simpson's Paradox, state-space models, statistical dependence, statistics, stochastics | Leave a comment

“Lucky d20” (by Tamino, with my reblogging comments)

Originally posted on Open Mind:
What with talk of killer heat waves, droughts, floods, etc. etc., this blog tends to get pretty serious. When it does, we don’t deal with happy prospects, but with the danger of worldwide catastrophe. But…

Posted in Bayes, Bayesian, card decks, card draws, card games, chance, D&D, Dungeons and Dragons, games of chance, mathematics, maths, Monte Carlo Statistical Methods, probability, statistical dependence, statistics, stochastic algorithms, stochastics, Wizards of the Coast | Leave a comment

Of my favorite things …

(Clarifying language added 4 Apr 2016, 12:26 EDT.) I just watched an episode from the last season of Star Trek: The Next Generation entitled “Force of Nature.” As anyone who pays the least attention to this blog knows, opposing human … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, bridge to somewhere, bucket list, Buckminster Fuller, Carl Sagan, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate education, compassion, data science, Earle Wilson, ecology, Ecology Action, environment, evolution, geophysics, George Sughihara, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, life purpose, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, numerical analysis, optimization, philosophy, physical materialism, physics, population biology, population dynamics, proud dad, quantitative biology, quantitative ecology, rationality, reasonableness, science, sociology, statistics, stochastic algorithms | 5 Comments

patents disincentivize progress

Very interesting.

Posted in business, data centers, destructive economic development, economics, high frequency trading, humanism, Hyper Anthropocene, mathematics, maths, rationality, reasonableness, risk, selfishness, stochastics | 1 Comment

“Grid shading by simulated annealing” [Martyn Plummer]

Source: Grid shading by simulated annealing (or what I did on my holidays), aka “fun with GCHQ job adverts”, by Martyn Plummer, developer of JAGS. Excerpt: I wanted to solve the puzzle but did not want to sit down with … Continue reading

Posted in approximate Bayesian computation, Bayesian, Bayesian inversion, Boltzmann, BUGS, Christian Robert, Gibbs Sampling, JAGS, likelihood-free, Markov Chain Monte Carlo, Martyn Plummer, mathematics, maths, MCMC, Monte Carlo Statistical Methods, optimization, probabilistic programming, SPSA, stochastic algorithms, stochastic search | Leave a comment

Ah, Hypergeometric!

(“Ah, Hypergeometric!” To be said with the same resignation and acceptance as in “I’ll burn my books–Ah, Mephistopheles!” from Faust.)😉 Dr John Cook, eminent all ’round statistician (with a specialty in biostatistics) and statistical consultant, took up a comment I … Continue reading

Posted in card decks, card draws, card games, games of chance, John Cook, mathematics, maths, probability, sampling, sampling without replacement, statistical dependence | Leave a comment

high dimension Metropolis-Hastings algorithms

If attempting to simulate from a multivariate standard normal distribution in a large dimension, when starting from the mode of the target, i.e., its mean γ, leaving the mode γis extremely unlikely, given the huge drop between the value of the density at the mode γ and at likely realisations Continue reading

Posted in Bayes, Bayesian, Bayesian inversion, boosting, chance, Christian Robert, computation, ensembles, Gibbs Sampling, James Spall, Jerome Friedman, Markov Chain Monte Carlo, mathematics, maths, MCMC, Monte Carlo Statistical Methods, multivariate statistics, numerical software, numerics, optimization, reasonableness, Robert Schapire, SPSA, state-space models, statistics, stochastic algorithms, stochastic search, stochastics, Yoav Freund | Leave a comment

Causal Diagrams

Like Sankey diagrams, causal diagrams are a useful tool to assess and communicate complicated systems and their intrarelationships: It’s possible to use these for analysis and prescription: Here is the (promised) presentation on reenforcing loops: So how can these techniques … Continue reading

Posted in adaptation, bridge to nowhere, Carbon Cycle, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide sequestration, Carbon Tax, Carbon Worshipers, causal diagrams, clean disruption, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate education, climate models, demand-side solutions, differential equations, dynamical systems, ecology, economics, energy utilities, environment, exponential growth, fossil fuel divestment, fossil fuels, global warming, greenhouse gases, greenwashing, Hyper Anthropocene, mathematics, mathematics education, maths, methane, mitigation, natural gas, planning, prediction, rationality, reasonableness, recycling, Sankey diagram, sustainability, the right to know, zero carbon | Leave a comment

“Causal feedbacks in climate change”

Today I was reviewing and re-reading the nonlinear time series technical literature I have, seeking ideas on how to go about using the statistical ensemble learning technique called “boosting” with them. (See the very nice book, R. E. Schapire, Y. … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropocene, boosting, Carbon Cycle, carbon dioxide, Carbon Worshipers, cat1, climate, climate change, climate data, climate disruption, complex systems, convergent cross-mapping, denial, differential equations, diffusion processes, dynamical systems, ecology, Egbert van Nes, empirical likelihood, ensembles, environment, Ethan Deyle, Floris Takens, forecasting, fossil fuels, geophysics, George Sughihara, global warming, greenhouse gases, Hao Ye, machine learning, Maren Scheffer, mathematics, maths, meteorology, physics, rationality, reasonableness, science, state-space models, Takens embedding theorem, time series, Timothy Lenton, Victor Brovkin | 1 Comment

All I do is complain, complain …

I was reviewing a presentation given as part of a short course in the machine learning genre today, and happened across the following two bullets, under the heading “Strictly Stationary Processes”: Predicting a time series is possible if and only … Continue reading

Posted in bifurcations, chaos, citizen science, convergent cross-mapping, dynamic linear models, dynamical systems, engineering, Floris Takens, generalized linear models, geophysics, George Sughihara, ignorance, Lenny Smith, Lorenz, mathematics, maths, meteorology, prediction, probability, rationality, reasonableness, statistics, stochastic algorithms, stochastic search, stochastics, Takens embedding theorem, the right to know, time series | 1 Comment

El Nino In A Can – Dan’s Wild Wild Science Journal – AGU Blogosphere

Click the image above to see a video from the GFDL CM2.6 climate model. This is NOT this year’s El Nino. When you start a climate model in which the ocean and the land and atmosphere can inte… Source: El … Continue reading

Posted in AMETSOC, astrophysics, climate, climate change, climate models, computation, Dan Satterfield, differential equations, diffusion, diffusion processes, dynamical systems, ENSO, environment, forecasting, geophysics, global warming, Hyper Anthropocene, Kerry Emanuel, mathematics, maths, mesh models, meteorology, model comparison, NASA, NCAR, NOAA, numerical analysis, oceanography, physics, Principles of Planetary Climate, rationality, Ray Pierrehumbert, reasonableness, science, Spaceship Earth, stochastics, supercomputers, the right to know, thermodynamics, time series | Leave a comment

“1D Wave with Delta Potential and Triangle Initial Position” (Jeff Galkowski, Stanford)

The latest calculations from Jeff Galkowski, of Stanford.

Posted in computation, engineering, Jeff Galkowski, mathematics, maths, McGill University, numerical analysis, numerical software, physics, proud dad, quantum, scattering, science, Stanford University, the right to know, University of California Berkeley, University of Rochester, wave equations, waves | Leave a comment

Southern Oscillation (SOI) correlated with Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR)

To the climate community this is nothing at all new, but I spotted these time series today and thought they would make a nice exhibit on how something people have direct control over, greenhouse gas emissions, affect a “teleconnection mechanism” … Continue reading

Posted in AMETSOC, bifurcations, carbon dioxide, climate, climate change, climate disruption, climate models, Dan Satterfield, differential equations, dynamic linear models, dynamical systems, ENSO, environment, forecasting, generalized linear models, geophysics, global warming, greenhouse gases, IPCC, Mathematica, mathematics, maths, meteorology, NCAR, NOAA, numerical software, oceanography, open data, physics, population biology, Principles of Planetary Climate, rationality, reasonableness, science, Spaceship Earth, state-space models, thermodynamics, time series | Leave a comment

Irrelevant power utilities

Irrelevant. Power utilities and fossil fuel companies are the walking dead, because they simply cannot compete in a free market with solar installations and locally installed and used wind, even without subsidies. And, they are trying to use regulations and … Continue reading

Posted in bridge to nowhere, chance, clean disruption, consumption, decentralized electric power generation, decentralized energy, demand-side solutions, destructive economic development, economics, efficiency, energy, energy reduction, energy utilities, ignorance, investment in wind and solar energy, mathematics, microgrids, optimization, physics, planning, public utility commissions, PUCs, rationality, reasonableness, risk, selfishness, solar power, SolarPV.tv, Spaceship Earth, sustainability, Tea Party, the right to know, the value of financial assets, Tony Seba, wind energy, wind power, zero carbon | 1 Comment

On differential localization of tumors using relative concentrations of ctDNA. Part 1.

Like most mammalian tissue, tumors often produce shards of DNA as a byproduct of cell death and fracture. This circulating tumor DNA is being studied as a means of detecting tumors or their resurgence after treatment. (See also a Q&A … Continue reading

Posted in approximate Bayesian computation, Bayesian, Bayesian inversion, cardiovascular system, diffusion, dynamic linear models, eigenanalysis, engineering, forecasting, mathematics, maths, medicine, networks, prediction, spatial statistics, statistics, stochastic algorithms, stochastic search, wave equations | 3 Comments

How nice it is that Nature and probability bend to developers whims!

As I have mentioned before, it’s so nice that Nature and probability bend to the whims of property developers and their Town Fathers, with the willing participation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you had property at risk … Continue reading

Posted in capricious gods, chance, citizenship, climate data, conservation, denial, ecology, engineering, environment, ethics, games of chance, ignorance, living shorelines, mathematics, meteorology, obfuscating data, planning, politics, precipitation, prediction, probability, rationality, reasonableness, risk, spatial statistics, University Station, Westwood | 1 Comment